Thursday, May 18, 2006

Girl Friday #15: Neighbor Girl Next Door

Somewhere a few months into immersing myself in bluegrass music and absorbing all that I could, I smacked into the old-time mountain tradition via the film, Songcatcher. Hearing some of those old songs awakened an awareness, sense of longing, and "rightness" in me that I had never felt, even in the throes of the St. Matthew Passion (the only other music that claims my attention the way bluegrass does is pretty much anything written before 1750). There was something more to this music than just the sound. It was an essence, a moment in time, a real slice of living.

My friend Ed introduced me to the music of Cary Fridley, who was for a time part of a string band called The Freight Hoppers, which some readers might know. Hers is a traditional warm, clear singing style that in her bell-like voice perfectly demonstrates the simple, direct, engaging character of old-time songs.

Cary is another gracious tradition bearer who has grown up and around the music and is carrying it forth so that the rest of us can enjoy the gift it offers. I am enjoying getting to know her work, and I hope you will, too.

Here's one of the songs I'm inspired to learn. You can sample a few others at www.caryfridley.net. Enjoy.

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